Hosting a March Madness party without snacks is like rooting for a team that isn’t in your bracket. It just shouldn’t be done. Fortunately we have a quick fix for those times when you’re all out of fun snack ideas to feed a group — like these basketball-shaped calzones that have “winner” written all over them.
If you can make cake pops, then you can make these cute little pizza-stuffed basketballs for your March Madness gathering. These “slam dunk” bite-size calzones are easy to make using a cake pop pan and a few pizza ingredients you might already have in your fridge.
Basketball calzones recipe
- 1 tube refrigerated pizza crust
- 3 mozzarella cheese sticks
- 12 – 24 pepperoni slices
- 1 jar pizza sauce
- 1 black food coloring pen
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Orange food coloring
1. Cut out the dough
Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spread the pizza crust on a work surface. Using a 3-inch round cutter, cut 12 circles of dough.
2. Add toppings
Cut the mozzarella sticks into 1-inch pieces. Place 1 or 2 pepperoni slices on each circle of dough, and add mozzarella pieces on top.
3. Make dough balls
Pinch the dough closed around the cheese and pepperoni.
4. Place into a cake pan
Grease the top and bottom of the cake pop pan. Place the dough balls in the bottom half of the pan.
5. Bake and cool
Attach the top of the pan, and secure shut. Bake for 15 minutes. Allow the pan to cool for 5 minutes before opening. If some of the pizza balls have ridges in the center, trim them off with a pair of scissors.
6. Draw basketball lines
Using the black food coloring pen, draw basketball lines on the pizza balls.
7. Paint the basketballs orange
Add orange food coloring to 1 tablespoon of butter, and mix well. Add more food coloring to achieve the desired color. Brush the tinted butter on the pizza balls, wiping off any excess with a paper towel.
8. Reheat and serve
Basketballs can be refrigerated for up to 3 days until you’re ready to serve them. To reheat, place the basketballs on a baking sheet, and bake in a 350-degree F oven for 8 – 10 minutes. Serve with a bowl of warm pizza sauce for dipping.
And don’t forget the cocktails. These 3-point jello shots are exactly what your March Madness festivities need.
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Updated by Bethany Ramos on 3/7/16